Stoke City entertain struggling West Bromwich Albion this Saturday, with the two sides currently heading in opposite directions in the Premier League table.
Only the top three sides have picked up more points in the last eight games than the Potters, with just a solitary defeat to league leaders Manchester City suffered in that time.
The home side have no major injury worries ahead of the game, with striker Mamady Sidibe their only long-term absentee.
The visitors, however, have several doubts surrounding many of their key players, adding to the loss of club captain Chris Brunt, who is set to miss at least the next two months with a broken ankle.
West Brom also come in to the game on the back of three straight defeats, with their last win coming at Newcastle just before Christmas, and the chances of them emerging victorious here are well reflected in bwin’s 3Way football betting market.
Crouch will surely see this game as a great chance to add to his tally of six league goals thus far as he attempts to work his way back into England manager Fabio Capello’s thoughts ahead of next month’s friendly against Holland.
You can get odds of 13/4 for the visitors to grab an unlikely victory, while the draw at 12/5 and Stoke are unsurprisingly the favourites at 17/20.
Potters top scorer Peter Crouch will surely see this game as a great chance to add to his tally of six league goals thus far as he attempts to work his way back into England manager Fabio Capello’s thoughts ahead of next month’s friendly against Holland.
The striker is priced at 5/1 to open the scoring and 7/5 to score at any time, but with the visitors so out of form, the offer of 7/1 for him to score at least twice is very tempting.
Punters who use their free £25 bet for joining bwin.com will see a return of £200 if Crouch grabs two or more goals at the Britannia Stadium on Saturday.
Another viable option is Jon Walters, who scored twice against the Baggies in a 3-0 success for Stoke at the Hawthorns last season and is worth considering at 3/2 in the any time goalscorer market, especially as he is on penalties.
For the visitors, Shane Long is rated at to 7/1 score first (2/1 at any time), but considering the doubts over the Irishman’s fitness as he battles a niggling back injury, he is probably best avoided.
A smarter move could be to back Peter Odemwingie. The Nigerian has yet to replicate the form which brought him 15 Premier League goals last term, but his pace will surely trouble Stoke’s backline.
Odemwingie bagged the first goal in West Brom’s FA Cup third-round win over Cardiff and is also priced at 7/1 to repeat the trick here.
If Long is not fit enough to start, Odemwingie is likely to be partnered by Simon Cox, who will be full of confidence after firing a hat-trick in the 4-2 success against the Bluebirds.
Cox is available at 3/1 to score at any time, but my money will be on Crouch to give Stoke a welcome boost by hitting the back of Ben Foster’s net on Saturday afternoon.
You can read a full betting preview of Stoke v West Brom here.
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